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How to optimise your matric final prep time

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The National Senior Certificate exams countdown clock on the Department of Basic Education’s website shows that the Class of 2019 will sit down to their last school exams in about 60 days. 

The National Senior Certificate exams countdown clock on the Department of Basic Education’s website shows that the Class of 2019 will sit down to their last school exams in about 60 days. With little more than 8 weeks left, Grade 12s are starting to feel the pressure, and should now be strategising how to best use their time before these watershed assessments, an education expert says.

“Your approach to studying shouldn’t be random or haphazard at this stage, but should leverage the learnings from your prelim exams, to build on your strengths and to identify and address weaknesses,” says Nola Payne, Head of Faculty: Information and Communications Technology at The Independent Institute of Education, SA’s largest private higher education institution.

“Prelims play an important role in finals preparation – beyond generating marks which contribute to your overall year-mark,” says Payne.

She says the act of sitting down in a similar environment and under similar conditions to final exams would have provided learners with valuable lessons about their performance under pressure.

“In addition, prelim exams would have highlighted the important sections of your work, as well as potential areas where you may have gaps in your knowledge. So as your finals preparation starts, using insights gained during your prelims will provide useful information and structure which will allow you to organise your thoughts and integrate the lessons learnt for each subject,” she says.

Payne says there are a number of steps Matric learners can now take to optimise their learning gained from prelim exams, to performing their best during the finals. These are:

REVIEWING PRELIM EXAM PAPER
Determining where you did well and where you went wrong during the penultimate Matric exams can be a great confidence booster. Focusing on and mastering those sections of work which proved problematic during the prelims means that you are concentrating on material that is very likely to arise during the final exams, and for which you will now be well prepared when it does.

COMPLETING PAST EXEMPLAR PAPERS
It should by now be common knowledge for most Matrics that completing past exam papers is one of the best and most efficient ways to prepare for exams. The reason for this is because you apply what you have learned, you replicate the time constraints you’ll encounter during the actual exams, you get used to different formats of questions, and ultimately gain a more thorough insight into your work than what you would have achieved through simple reading and re-reading of textbooks.

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